Mad Science! A Drag Racer Sliced And Diced A Pair Of LS Heads, Stuck Them Together And Mounted Them On A Ford Inline Six

Mad Science! A Drag Racer Sliced And Diced A Pair Of LS Heads, Stuck Them Together And Mounted Them On A Ford Inline Six

Now this is really something! A short while back, a thread popped up in the BangShift forums about a racer who had taken a pair of cathedral port LS Chevy cylinder heads, shortened them by one hole a piece and attached them together. The single head was then bolted on a 300ci inline six Ford engine that powers a drag car. It seems like an impossibility, but it really exists and while we have not spoken to the owner/builder yet, we wanted to share a little of the story and some photos of this very, very awesome idea.

It is not totally unheard of for guys to modify and meld V8 heads together for use on an inline six engine. Ford and Chevy guys have done this stuff for a long time but they mostly stay with their own brand. Ford heads on Fords and Chevy heads on Chevy engines. What makes this so awesome is the modern head on the older engine and the fact that it is from a completely different manufacturer. Why wouldn’t the racer use a set of Ford heads on this engine? The main reason is that the valve order on the 300 is different than a Ford V8 so using a typical Ford V8 head would require a custom cam that would operate the valves in the proper sequence. Without that we don’t even need to tell you that disaster that would result. We believe that is the main reason he went with the LS. A standard grind cam can be used and all of the valvetrain stuff would be happy.

How did he attach the heads you ask? Basically he milled an end of each one and then “glued” them together with very strong epoxy. Apparently he also added a plate of some sort to control water flow between the two halves which was also epoxied in place. From what we have read, the car runs and the driver has made laps but there is some internal leakage between the heads that needs to be addressed in order for this to be a “finished” product. You’ll notice that the racer also custom built an intake manifold with three 2bbl Holley carbs hanging off the end which looks really, really neat.

Inline six enthusiasts are some of the hardest core hot rodders in the universe. We showed you the video earlier this week of the car in Argentina screaming its guts out at like 10,000 RPM and making some big snot, then there’s this thing which is beyond awesome as well. Since the beginning of hot rodding there have been enthusiasts making inline sixers run hard. Companies like Wayne made crossflow cylinder heads that really woke up inline engines and cars sporting inliners can be found in drag racing’s competition eliminator category extensively along with many other forms of racing. Companies like BMW literally built empires on the strength of their buzzin’ half dozens.

We’re going to keep looking for the dudes behind this creation and hopefully bring you a much more detailed account of what they went through to bring this completely 100% BangShift approved creation to life. We want to know more…do you?


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42 thoughts on “Mad Science! A Drag Racer Sliced And Diced A Pair Of LS Heads, Stuck Them Together And Mounted Them On A Ford Inline Six

  1. Matt

    I’ve read about the Chevy 238, 250, 292 using SBC heads, but this really kicks up the cool factor. Those heads were welded together, I would not trust the epoxy. I own a cummins turbo diesel, but prefer the sound of a “healthy” V8.

    On a side note, I met a gentleman who put a DeSoto Hemi head on a GM Iron Duke 4 cylinder using a sleaved adapter plate. There are many people who aren’t affraid of thinking outside of the cookie-cutter box.

  2. keezling

    Bruce Sizemore had a pro stock style Pinto 300 six powered with one and a half Boss 302 heads in the late 60’s or early 70’s I believe. Ran 8’s (?) @ 9,000ish RPM if I recall correctly. ‘Course that was a Ford/Ford mashup.

    1. Jack

      They actually used 3 heads ,Had to because of the bore spacing) It was done by C J Batten and the reason was for the weight break for a 6 cylinder

    2. Anonymous

      I remember his H/MP Maverick with cleveland heads I believe. One of my favorite modified production cars.

      1. Anonymous

        Hybrid heads were never allowed in Modified Production classes, only in the Gas classes. Modifed Production could only run the stock production cylinder head for the engine being used with no external modifications allowed.

  3. john

    What epoxy would hold up to the heat? I’ve been using epoxy since my pre-teen day ( 55yrs-) and none of the epoxies I know would hold up .

    1. Anonymous

      Many people also fail to realize that the cylinder head also stiffens the block assembly, and an epoxyied head will allow the block and entire assembly to distort and flex uncontrollably creating other issues that a welded or solid head will not let happen.

  4. Greg Rourke

    I would think the epoxy would only have to seal water and oil passages, it seems like it should work. I’m sure they will get it sorted out.
    Brian is right about inline guys being hardcore. Read the book by Leo Santucci about hot rodding the GM 292 engines.

  5. Scotty

    To think, the bore spacing, head bolt arangement, and water passeges line up! Tig weld them suckers together and go ape!

  6. Brandon Weaver

    There’s pictures floating around somewhere of a slant six with modern hemi heads done up in the same fashion, along with an old ‘firedome’ valve cover. However, I believe its a fake…

  7. John Gambill

    This may not be ground breaking news…However, Mercury Marine. You remember… They cast the “King Of The Hill” aluminum Corvette engine a couple of decades ago..They manufactured an aluminum 4 banger block with a 4″ bore, I’m not too sure of the stroke, and dropped a cast iron Ford 460 cyl head on it. I believe with a 4bbl carb it made 188 hp at the prop, a possible 200 at the crank. Like I said no big deal.. But I”m waiting for someone to drop one between a set of rails..I’m sure you can Google it.

    1. Anonymous

      Those were the worst motors in the entire world. We used to pull em out and scrap perfectly good ones because they were so gutless. Cool concept but mercury has DEFINATELY came up with some better ideas….

    2. Mazdarati

      actually, it is a 4.360″ bore. they use the same rods and pistons as a 460 ford. it is 224 cubic inches, or 3.7L. there is a guy that runs one in an altered in an NHRA class, but i cant find it! also, a guy in florida i think by use to run one in a salt flat car, went 187 mph.

        1. Mazdarati

          thank you! i couldnt remember his name or find it! its actually Clint Neff, its on youtube, search “Neff & From”.

    3. terry

      Bore was in the 4.3 range. Ford Motorsports sold them too. Adding a modern aftermarket 460-type head, offset grinding the crank for BBC rods, and a 250+CID 4-banger with over 300hp and a mile of torque, in a fairly light package, doesn’t suck.

    1. Nick D

      I’ve had the pleasure of seeing that Mad Frenchman run his car a few times. That car really hauls, although I was a little disappointed when he put wheelie bars on it

  8. Danny O'Day

    Neat Idea however I believe the epoxy deal will never work because of thermal shock and expansion diff between head and block. Lot of work for only a slight improvement over a 12 port Ford head.

  9. Jim

    I have seen the LS head on a 300 ford before. I’m sure it would seal better is it was welded up. As the bore spacing is slightly off between the ford and chevy it works better to have 2 weld seams rather an one.

  10. Crow

    Getting ready to “re-do” my stock ’78 300 6, this would make for interesting motor in my Grumman/Olsen Wonderbread truck. Keep us posted ?

  11. captnfrank

    In 1976 a teacher at mercruiser school had a 470 marine(224 cu in 4) (see John Gambill) in a Vega
    4 speed 4:11 rear ran 12.6 with a stock cam .Marine Tex epoxy would probably work it will even set up under water and will hold 90 lbs torque

  12. Mike

    This is my Dad’s creation. He’s been racing 300 sixes since the 60’s so he had found the limits of the stock Ford head. He was looking for an inexpensive cross flow head alternative. He picked up the LS1 heads for $300.00. Its in a 62 Falcon drag car backed by a Jerico 4 speed trans. The epoxy is sealing in the center of the water jackets so it doesn’t see the temperatures you would think. The bore spacing is about .080″ different so two of the cylinders are centered and the rest aren’t. The LS1 head has a small enough chamber that this didn’t cause a huge issue. He uses Comp cams 1.8:1 roller rockers with a solid lifter non-roller cam. Ford 351 Windsor flat top pistons on stock 300 6 rods. The first couple of times at the track we battled some totally unrelated issues. His MSD 2 step starting line rev limiter had failed and it was shutting the motor down at 5000 RPM. He experienced a few leaks where he didn’t get enough epoxy in place. The head is back off to fix those issues. He put the Ford head back on so he could race it last season but the Chevy head will make it back on again soon. Dad is true back yard race car builder and has been doing crazy stuff like this for years. He likes a challenge and he is the king of “low buck.”

    1. Tom Slater

      I’m at a loss for words. Your old man is awesome. Hope it was fun growing up in that house. Total bad-ass mix of rocket science and moonshine production to build that motor. Very cool.

  13. jack pine

    Mike, your Dad is awesome to even think about getting up off his butt to try this, much less getting it functional enough to bring to the track. Please keep us posted on this. Look how many comments this thing has generated! Great story.

  14. Mike

    Here is some video evidence that this combination did actually run under its own power although not anywhere near its full potential. We didn’t know it at the time but during this run the MSD 2 step was not functioning properly so the rev limiter was kicking in at only 5000 rpm. He aborted the run thinking something was drastically wrong with the combo. We found out later after switching back to the stock Ford head that it was the 2 step causing the problem. I can’t wait to get the LS1 back on with the ignition working properly. Dad is 70 years old but he can still shift a 4 speed.

  15. Jay Bree

    Thanks for sharing the back story. Your dad is great, and this kind of outside the box thinking is what makes hotrodding cool.


  16. scott ervin sr.

    awesome idea,i help a friend of mine with his 65’falcon wagon with a 300 6 in far we have got it to run 12.70 in the 1/4 mile.good luck,and I think you dad is cool for trying this.

  17. terry

    Way freaking cool! I have a 300 and 6.0L heads, and my plan is to weld/seal each head at the water jackets, treat as separate with their own water outlets.

    1. Mike

      That might work as well. He blocked off both heads with a plate but drilled a hole in the middle to let the water pass through. We considered O-ringing the plates so the heads wouldn’t even need to be attached to each other or like you said running their own water lines. With the 6.0 L heads you may have to make more than one cut in the middle because I think the combustion chambers are larger or a different shape. Dad looked at those too but decided on the 5.3 heads for that reason. When he compared the heads to the 300 head gasket he decided to use the 5.3. There are some other holes in the head on the head gasket surface that have to be blocked. He epoxied in some little plates. They are trapped by the head gasket so they can’t come out. Good luck with your transplant.

      1. Mike

        Also, the block has to be notched to clear the push rods and the push rod/lifter cover plate has to be modified to seal everything up. He started with stock rocker arms with a trunnion kit and adjustable push rods but the push rods would not stay tight at high RPM. Switched to 1 piece push rods and Competition cams adjustable roller rockers with 1.8:1 ratio. The push rod holes in the heads have to be opened up for clearance as well. This is definitely not a “bolt on” project but the only machining he subbed out was the machining of the adjoining head surfaces and then he had the head surfaced after epoxying them together. Everything else was done with a die grinder, a drill press, and his 40 year old hack saw. (They don’t make them like that anymore).

  18. Bill

    here in Australia ford have a 4 litre twincam quad valve turbo charged engine that is fitted to our ford falcons the after market boys are getting upwards of 1000hp out of them 10 second quarter mile times out of these big sedans is not uncommon

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